Thomas R. Frieden: Managing a Practice with Patients in the Millions
BY PETER WORTSMAN
|Thomas R. Frieden|
THOMAS R. FRIEDEN, M.D.-M.P.H.'86, COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH and mental hygiene for the City of New York, summed up his responsibilities in the course of an interview last summer at his downtown office overlooking City Hall Park: "I have 8 million patients.
If any one of them dies prematurely in New York City, it's my fault!"
Sworn in during January 2002, in the wake of 9/11, Dr. Frieden pores over the citywide health statistics every day the way an internist pores over his patient charts, ever on the lookout for significant data.
"We had 18,000 people who died before the age of 65 last year," he reports, pausing as if to fathom the loss, then adding, "about 10,000 of them from clearly preventable causes."
Preventable is the key word here, the mantra of a medical mission that has taken him from New York to New Delhi and back, with detours to New Haven, Nicaragua, and the mountain hollows of Tennessee.
He managed to pick up fluent Spanish, serviceable Hindi, and considerable experience and savvy along the way, as well as a track record of success.
He is credited with having nipped a burgeoning epidemic of drug-resistant TB in the bud, as New York's assistant commissioner of health and director of the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control from 1990 to 1992.
Later he effectively checked the spread of the disease in India, as a medical officer of tuberculosis control for the Southeast Asia Regional Office of the World Health Organization from 1996 to 2002.
His record put him at the head of the list of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's candidates for a new commissioner of health.
The mayor, himself a staunch proponent and supporter of public health and whose generous support of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health led to the school's renaming, appreciated Dr. Frieden's pragmatic approach as well as his forthrightness.
His mild, thoughtful demeanor and youthful appearance notwithstanding, Dr. Frieden is fiercely committed to the health of the community.
Not afraid to speak his mind, he has on occasion rubbed some folks the wrong way, notably certain tobacco executives he gamely described as "mass murderers."
Despite a bit of flak, the commissioner stood his ground and the may or stood by him.
"I think I wouldn't be doing my job as health commissioner," Dr. Frieden says, "if I didn't tell it like it is and focus on the things we can do to help New Yorkers live longer, healthier lives."
The Smoke Free Air Act of 2002, the primary legislative armament in his controversial crusade against smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants, has worked wonders.
"The fact that there are at least 130,000 fewer people smoking in New York City today than there were when I took office, that's a lot of people who are healthier.
And that," he concedes, "is a very satisfying statistic!"
A Doctor's Son Grounded in Evidence-Based Medicine
Born at the old Doctors Hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Dr. Frieden's medical values were shaped early on by his doctor father, the late Julian Frieden, M.D., former chief of coronary care at Montefiore and New Rochelle hospitals.
"He practiced rigorous, evidencebased medicine before anybody talked about evidencebased medicine," the commissioner recalls of his father.
"My best month as a medical student at P&S was in the fourth year when the dean of students, Dr. Linda Lewis, said that we could do a preceptorship with any physician.
‘Any physician?' I asked. ‘Any physician!' she said.
I said, ‘I'm going to do a month with my father.'
She said, ‘Wonderful!' And it was wonderful.
I learned a tremendous amount, not only about cardiology, but also about what it means to be a practicing physician."
Understanding "medicine as not so much a career choice as a career opportunity," the father helped the son "assemble the puzzle pieces of his interests in science and policy and come up with public health.
Some people go into public health because they don't like clinical medicine.
I love clinical medicine," Dr. Frieden insists.
"It's really the basis of much of what we do.
Public health is such an exciting area because you can have a large impact and see the improvement in the health, not of just a single patient, but of an entire population."
Other early medical mentors included the late Glenda Garvey'69, whom Dr. Frieden came to know and revere in her dual role as director of the third-year clerkship in medicine at P&S and director of the medical ICU at Presbyterian Hospital.
"Her ability to take a five-inch-thick ICU patient chart and, with the aid of colored pens and meticulous handwritten notes, sketch out the antibiotic course and show how that related to different procedures and infections, and, thereby, to permit us residents to give much better treatment to the patient — that was a model for anybody in any branch of medicine, or anything else, for that matter."
The public health bug bit early. Before entering P&S, the young Frieden served as a community organizer for the Appalachian Student Health Coalition (an organization co-founded by child psychiatrist Robert Coles'54) affiliated with the Center for Health Services at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Dr. Frieden conducted a survey in a small town in the Mississippi Delta area of western Tennessee to assess the accessibility of the local community health clinic to the people who needed it most.
Though dismayed to discover that "most people didn't even know the clinic existed, let alone that it offered a sliding fee scale," the report he produced helped the clinic's board of directors get the word out and the experience proved formative.
His subsequent participation in various medical missions to Nicaragua, in conjunction with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, during and immediately after medical school enhanced his passion for public health.
While still at P&S, he also found time to create Links: Health and Development Report, a public health review which he continued to edit through 1991.
Earning a master's degree in public health along with his M.D., Dr. Frieden pursued a residency in medicine at Presbyterian Hospital while also serving as medical supervisor to the psychiatry shelter program at the armory on 168th Street (a program founded and run by fellow Columbians Ezra Susser'82 and Alan Felix'83).
He rounded out his medical training on a fellowship in infectious disease at Yale.
Epidemic Intelligence Work and the Battle Against TB
In 1990, Dr. Frieden participated in a two-year disease detection program as epidemic intelligence service officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Based in New York, he collected and analyzed data and presented and documented some 24 disease outbreak investigations.
Toward the end of his time with the CDC, he followed up on a medical alarm about tuberculosis sounded by Harlem Hospital's Dr. Karen Brudney, a member of the clinical medical faculty at P&S and now director of the infectious diseases clinic at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Frieden designed and conducted a survey of the level of drug-resistant TB in New York City.
National surveillance for drug resistance had been suspended for more than a decade and an extensive systematic citywide scrutiny of the extent of infection had never been attempted.
The survey conclusively documented an alarming rise in drug-resistant TB.
Appointed assistant commissioner of the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control and assistant commissioner of health in 1992, he spearheaded and coordinated an effective citywide outreach program to treat those afflicted with TB wherever they lived, including infected members of the homeless and prison population, some of whom had to be gently coerced into accepting care.
He credits the vital role of dedicated outreach workers from the TB control bureau "who went to crack dens...under bridges...to park benches, wherever" and of front-line physicians like Dr. Brudney.
"Many public health problems," he points out, "are first identified by an alert clinician who notices something unusual and calls the Health Department."
Dr. Frieden also credits the advice of Dr. Karel Styblo, an astute observer of TB in Africa, who developed a system of monitoring the quality of care and of tracking the outcomes of every single patient.
"‘Well, doctor,'" he says in recalling Dr. Styblo's response upon reading his departmental report, "you diagnosed 3,811 patients with tuberculosis. How many of them did you cure?'"
Stunned and, admittedly, shamed by the question, which he was unable to answer, Dr. Frieden took the message to heart, resolving then and there to initiate a program of cohort analysis in which he reviewed the treatment and outcome of every single patient in New York City.
The epidemic was stopped dead in its tracks.
From New York to New Delhi
After TB cases began falling dramatically in New York, Dr. Frieden, who had meanwhile joined the clinical faculty in public health (epidemiology) at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, chose to further broaden his horizons overseas.
When he worked in India as a supervisory medical officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he was on loan to the World Health Organization on a World Bank-funded initiative.
The goal was to promote effective TB diagnosis and treatment in India and other areas.
He and his team helped India expand the coverage of its TB control program from 2 percent to 80 percent of the population with a rate of cure of 84 percent.
Culturally sensitive as well as medically astute, Dr. Frieden never lost sight of the fact that India was not his country.
"You're there to assist, you're there to provide resources to the extent that you can, but you're probably not likely to really know what's most needed and most important," he emphasizes.
"It was an enormous privilege to work with the Indian government on something so important with such a tremendous potential for impact."
Much as he loved India, when the job was done and the opportunity came to reapply the experience and knowledge gained in a leadership position back home, it didn't take him long to make up his mind.
|LEFT TO RIGHT: Thomas R. Frieden at work;
Thomas R. Frieden with public health officials in India;
Thomas R. Frieden with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the 2002 signing of a cigarette tax increase
The Call to Public Service After Sept. 11
"New Yorkers everywhere in the world felt a really strong heart-tug to the city after 9/11," he recalls of his decision to accept Mayor Bloomberg's offer to head the city's Department of Health.
"When I got back, the fires were still burning at ground zero.
We were still dealing with major mental health repercussions of the attack.
We were still strengthening our emergency response capacities for any future attacks."
Buoyed by the mayor's philosophy of delegating complete responsibility and profoundly impressed by the strengths of the New York City Department of Health, Dr. Frieden rolled up his sleeves and dug in.
"Compared to the tremendous complexity of India, with 1,000 people dying every day," he notes, "New York City has proven much more manageable."
Launching an Unprecedented Citywide Public Health Survey
"The answer's always in the data," he says.
But instead of sitting around waiting for the data to trickle in by pre-existent channels, the new commissioner took a major proactive move.
Within four months on the job he initiated "Take Care of New York," an ambitious survey of what he called "the vital signs of our patient, New York."
The first of its kind to gather and measure critical health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and risky sexual behavior in all corners of the city, it was modeled on a national survey conducted by the CDC.
According to the New York Times in October 2003, the resulting comprehensive community health profiles for 42 New York neighborhoods painted "a more detailed picture of New Yorkers' health...than had ever existed before."
Allan G. Rosenfield'59, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health, praised the survey for its "heavy focus on prevention."
"The bottom line is to provide to New Yorkers the information that they need to be healthier," Dr. Frieden told the Times.
Data in hand, he promptly set out to "identify and address the winnable battles": having a doctor, being smoke-free and heart healthy, getting an HIV test, monitoring depression, screening for cancer, getting the shots you need, and having a home free of violence and free of lead.
Some areas of particular concern revealed by the survey included high smoking rates and the rise of obesity, particularly in Harlem and the South Bronx.
In the commissioner's view, the survey "helped to refine and define public health priorities" and helped the department "evaluate our methods."
Among the "winnable battles" he waged was an aggressive campaign to encourage smoking cessation.
Other areas the department has addressed in the wake of the survey are obesity and unsafe sexual behavior.
The commissioner also unified the previously discrete sections in his department devoted to HIV services, HIV research, and HIV surveillance into a single cohesive unit, which, in his view, has proved better able to address the web of complex, often interrelated, issues of AIDS.
Alas, he acknowledges, "the most daunting challenge within city government these days is money."
Given the significant budget deficit inherited by the Bloomberg administration, "there are never enough funds to go around."
Preparedness for Future Bioterrorist Attack
"Rapid detection and rapid response are among the core missions of public health," Dr. Frieden maintains, "and we have come to appreciate that more than ever in the wake of 9/11 and the anthrax scare."
As to detection, he believes, "an alert clinician may always be the front line of defense of the public's health, whether it be natural or man-made disease."
The Department of Health also relies on a syndromic surveillance system in which some 60,000 events are tracked each day.
In July 2004 the mayor opened a new high-tech 20,000-square-foot lab to fortify the capacity for rapid response.
Another key component of the response plan is a Medical Reserve Corps, which the commissioner created.
When he invited the city's physicians and other health care professionals to join, the response was immediate and thousands signed up to be available for mass medical response at a moment's notice.
A Visionary "Implementer"
A laudatory profile in the often prickly New York Observer (May 3, 2004) characterized the commissioner as "a rare visionary."
Dr. Frieden finds the compliment flattering but inaccurate.
"No," he shakes his head, "I'm an implementer.
I take good methods other people came up with and make them work.
A lot of life is basically just getting the job done."
His implementation skills have earned him a score of encomia, including the William G. Cahan'39 Memorial Education Award of the American Cancer Society, the Honor Award in International Health of the CDC, an Award for Excellence from the New York City Department of Health, and the Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
When not seeing to the health of his 8-million-strong patient practice, the commissioner relaxes with his family in Brooklyn. He likes to play squash — "a sport I picked up at P&S" — listen to jazz and classical music and eat good food, "of which we have plenty in New York — but no fried foods," he cautions, ever conscious of his cholesterol.
Profiles in Giving
Glenda Garvey'69 Teaching Academy Named for Beloved Clinician-Educator
BY PETER WORTSMAN
"IN MEDICINE, THE FIRST THING THAT YOU LEARN," SAID THE late Glenda Garvey'69, professor of clinical medicine at P&S, "is to find the person, the unique human being who is your patient...and connect with that person.
The same holds true of your students."
For 25 years she applied that principle with all her heart and soul, wisdom, science, and savvy as director of the medical ICU at Presbyterian Hospital and, for 20 of those years, as director of the third-year clerkship in medicine, arguably the linchpin in the medical school curriculum.
To Dr. Garvey, who died March 22, 2004, practice and teaching went hand in hand.
The Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy at P&S seeks to perpetuate that linked legacy by supporting the invaluable pedagogical role of teaching clinicians.
"She felt that private practitioners in internal medicine had a tremendous amount to offer students in terms of how to relate to patients," recalls Carol W. Garvey'69, her sister-in-law, classmate, and friend.
"So her dream for the academy was to be able to make it affordable for practicing physicians to be able to come in and share their very practical, very personal wisdom."
Dr. Garvey lived to see that dream near reality.
At the 2003 commencement, at which she addressed her beloved students one last time, Dean Gerald Fischbach officially announced the creation of the teaching academy in her honor to the thunderous applause of the graduating class.
They had just awarded Dr. Garvey her fourth Distinguished Teacher Award.
She'd already won it in 1976, 1985, and 1998.
The student-authored citation read in part: "Dr. Garvey is a talented physician, an inspired mentor. She is the ultimate gracious lady, who some believe can walk on water."
Her other teaching encomia included the Dean's Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching, the Medical House Staff Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching, the Charles H. Bohmfalk Award for Excellence in Teaching During the Clinical Years, the Teacher of the Year Award by the Black and Latino Students Organization, and the Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Also recognized with a record five awards from the American Medical Women's Association, Dr. Garvey was saluted in 2003 by the Society of Alumni of Presbyterian Hospital as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
The sentiment of the countless patients and their families she cared for and about in the course of her career is best exemplified by a note of condolence written by Brian Richards, a Columbia University security guard.
Dr. Garvey helped see his mother through a bout of lifethreatening pneumonia in the ICU.
"Glenda was not my professor, she was my friend," Mr. Richards wrote.
"I am not a rich person. I am compelled to write a check in some small amount in honor of a true healer and friend.
Please keep her memory alive and teach the ‘new kids' the joy and miracle that was Glenda Garvey, M.D."
A powerful affirmation of the core pedagogical mission at P&S, the Glenda Garvey Teaching Academy will promote innovations in educational methods and provide teaching grants to support clinicians and researchers who have demonstrated a commitment to and excellence in teaching.
For more information, contact Anke Nolting, associate dean of alumni affairs, by phone at 212-305-3498 or email at email@example.com.
Rx for Travel
Padua: Where Pilgrims and Iconoclasts Cross Paths
BY PETER WORTSMAN
|Basilica of the Saint, Padua|
PADUA OWES ITS DUAL IDENTITY AS A HAVEN OF THE SPIRIT AND the mind to the legacies of a saint and a school of science.
Pilgrims pray to Saint Anthony the Hermit in the sprawling Basilica of the Saint, leaving their heartfelt pleas on his tomb.
Last August after following the faithful and jostling with the pigeons on the piazza, I joined a group of pilgrims of another stripe across town gazing in awe at the wooden cathedra from which Galileo Galilei lectured on the movement of celestial bodies at the University of Padua.
It is Italy's second oldest, and some say its finest, institution of higher learning.
Galileo, incidentally, started out as a student of medicine.
Padua's illustrious medical faculty, with which P&S has established a formal institutional affiliation, counts among its renowned international alumni Thomas Linacre, first president of the Royal College of Physicians in London and personal physician to King Henry VIII, and William Harvey, best known for his study of blood circulation.
The old "Palazzo del Bo," as the university is commonly known, dates back at least to 1222, according to academic records.
Passing through its arched Renaissance portal, you enter an ancient courtyard lined with the coats of arms of rectors of old.
The real treasure for the medically minded is a perfectly preserved wooden anatomical theater built in 1594 by Gerolamo Fabrici d'Acquapendente, reputedly the oldest permanent structure of its kind in the world.
I gulped with a mingling of claustrophobia and awe, keenly aware of my own mortality as I stepped inside its windowless, funnel-like pit and peered up at the six concentric circles of viewing stands rising around me.
Stolen bodies were studied here by some 300 students at a time and then dropped through a hatch into a canal below.
Outside the theater sits a bust of another historic Paduan professor, G. Battista Morgagni, the founder of pathological anatomy.
Vintage anatomical drawings and ancient medical degrees line the walls of the hall next door, where doctoral candidates still defend their theses.
Visits are by guided tour only (Tel. 049-82-09-711).
Padua possesses another gem of interest to students of medicine.
The Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden), founded in 1545, is held to be the world's oldest university garden devoted to medicinal plants.
Notable among the surviving vegetation is a palm tree planted in 1585, traditionally known as "Goethe's Palm," since in 1786 it inspired Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the great German poet and thinker, to write his celebrated essay, "On the Metamorphosis of Plants."
Included among the World Heritage List of protected sites by UNESCO, this circular walled-in oasis is a living museum tracing the evolution of botany as a science.
Any visitor to Padua would be remiss if he did not poke his head into the Scrovegni Chapel to scan Giotto's 39 linked frescoes.
Bathed in the distinctive blue hue of the early Renaissance master's palette, it's a spiritual planetarium of sorts in which an otherworldly starry sky painted on the ceiling seems to hang benevolently over the religious scenes on the walls.
The faces look all too human.
Both St. Anthony and Galileo would have felt right at home. Viewing is by advance reservation only.
(Tel. 39-49-20-10-020; www.cappelladegliscrovegni.it)
Even pilgrims need to rest their weary bones.
I parked mine at the austere but spotless Hotel del Pelegrini (Tel. 011-39-04-98-23-97-11), in the shadow of the basilica.
For more information contact the Italian National Tourist Board in New York (Tel. 212-245-5618) or check the Web (www.italiantourism.com).
PHOTO CREDIT: PETER WORTSMAN
Alumni Association Activities
The council dinner on June 16, 2004, was a bittersweet occasion for outgoing Alumni Association president Shearwood McClelland'74. Dr. McClelland called the meeting to order with customary grace and eloquence.
With a lingering smile and a catch in his throat, he reflected on the highlights of his tenure, including the pleasure of working with the staff of the Alumni Office, notably Elizabeth Williams, Mary Garris, Kathy Couchells, and Anke Nolting.
He passed the gavel to his successor, Jay Lefkowitch'76, who observed that his predecessor, who stands more than six feet tall, had "very large shoes to fill."
As his last official duty, Dr. McClelland introduced the evening's speaker, Dr. Ira Lamster, dean of the Columbia School of Dental and Oral Surgery, who addressed the vital collaboration of physicians and dentists as health professionals.
Author of more than 120 articles and book chapters, Dr. Lamster is the co-author of the text, "Clinical Guide to Periodontics."
In his remarks, Dr. Lamster provided an overview of ongoing research at the dental school and underlined the importance of that research as a link between academic dentistry and academic medicine.
He elaborated on oral infection as a risk factor for systemic illness.
Oral infection, he pointed out, has an insidious impact on such diseases as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and osteoporosis.
Dr. Lefkowitch officiated at the council dinner on Sept. 22, 2004, introducing student guests and extending a special welcome to two eminent alumni in attendance, P. Roy Vagelos'54 and Clyde Wu'56.
Dr. Vagelos, retired CEO of Merck & Co., currently serves P&S in a dual capacity as the chairman of Defining the Future, the medical center's ambitious $1 billion capital campaign, and chairman of the dean's new Board of Visitors.
Dr. Wu is a University trustee, chairman of the Health Sciences Committee of the Trustees, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Trustees.
His generosity to the medical school has included the promotion of medical research exchanges between P&S and prominent Chinese medical institutions plus student financial aid programs, a music room in Bard Hall, and the endowment of four professorships.
Dr. Lefkowitch saluted Katherine Couchells, director of alumni affairs, for her 30 years of service to the association and the medical school.
Following a slide show with highlights of her career, Dr. Lefkowitch echoed sentiments held by many: "Kathy is more to all of us than you can put on a slide."
Ms. Couchells accepted a Tiffany silver bowl as a token of the association's appreciation.
The evening's guest speaker was Robert A. McCaughey, Ph.D., chairman of history at Barnard College and author of the new tome, "Stand, Columbia, A History of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1754-2004," published by Columbia University Press.
Prof. McCaughey's remarks were titled "Innocents Uptown: A Morningside Perspective on the History of Medical Education at Columbia."
Taking his audience on a rollicking ride through the ups and downs of the University's history, warts and all, he spoke of a succession of high profile presidents, including Seth Lowe, Nicholas Murray Butler ("No one could wear a top hat better than Butler!") and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He spoke of the interruption caused by the American Revolution and the frictions between the erstwhile College of Physicians and Surgeons and Columbia's Faculty of Medicine before they merged.
Acknowledging the insufficiency of his chapters on the medical center, he reported that a new history was in the process of being written.
New Students Reception
New students, house staff, and their families flocked to the Faculty Club Sept. 8, 2004, for the annual "wine and cheese" welcoming reception.
"Be involved with the Alumni Association," its president, Jay Lefkowitch'76, advised in his greeting.
"We're very interested in making your life better.
We think of you as alumni already and hope to give you a feeling of family throughout your four years and beyond."
Professor of clinical pathology as well as an accomplished musician and artist and sometime adviser to the medical student theater ensemble, the Bard Hall Players, Dr. Lefkowitch acknowledged the city's rich cultural life.
"We hope you're spending most of your time studying, but in between," he added, "is the extremely distracting New York City."
Among the crop of new students and proud progenitors were Bram Welch Horan'08 and his beaming mother, former Alumni Association president, Martha G. Welch'71.
BY MARIANNE WOLFF'52
Class of 1939
Still practicing office orthopedic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and also involved in Penn's teaching program, ZACHARY B. FRIEDENBERG's avocation is medical history. His most recent book, "Hospital at War," was published by Texas A&M University Press.
A forthcoming book will be titled "History of Surgery."
Class of 1949
In May 2004 the Weston United Community Renewal honored one of its board members, ELIZABETH BISHOP DAVIS, the first director of psychiatry at Harlem Hospital (1962-1978) and the recipient, in 2001, of the New York State Office of Mental Health's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Beth is professor of clinical psychiatry emerita at P&S and has published widely.
She has received awards from Barnard College and from P&S.
She was the moving force in creating Bishop House, a home dedicated to the mentally ill, in the Harlem community.
Elizabeth Bishop Davis'49
Class of 1950
ROBERT A. HOEKELMAN has retired as chairman of pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he was also the associate dean.
He is now professor emeritus.
He and his wife, Ann, a 1949 Columbia School of Nursing graduate, enjoy living on Canandaigua Lake in upstate New York.
Class of 1953
Having retired in 2001, NORMAN BANK has taken to authoring children's books; two have been published and a third is in progress.
The book titles are " Evil Spirits at Camp Ago-Nee" and "Arnold the Fearless."
Although directed to children, the books contain many of his "personal views of our society."
Norm also teaches reading to sixth graders with the help of other retirees and still works for the Kidney and Urology Foundation of America.
Clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Drexel University, HERBERT E. POCH teaches residents from P&S and from Drexel's medical school.
He retired as associate program director of the pediatric residency at Monmouth Medical Center.
In June 2004 he received an award from Drexel for "setting an outstanding standard of skill and commitment in the clinical care of patients."
Class of 1955
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given SCOTT B. HALSTEAD a $55 million grant to "accelerate the development, introduction, and deployment of dengue vaccines"; the project is known as the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative.
ANNE BINGHAM PIERSON had her watercolor paintings shown in Connecticut in August 2004; she is a member of several Connecticut art societies.
She spends most of her time as a company physician.
In the past she was very active with Planned Parenthood.
(Anne received an M.P.H. in family planning from Columbia in 1972.)
Class of 1956
After 16 years of serving as chairman of microbiology and professor of medicine and surgery at Boston University, PAUL BLACK has been given emeritus status.
His current interest is in psychoneuroimmunology: Can stress cause an inflammatory reaction or even contribute to atherosclerosis?
Class of 1959
KENNETH A. FORDE received one of the 2004 Townsend Harris Medals from the Alumni Association of the City College of New York.
He was honored for his pioneering work in the field of endoscopy.
Class of 1961
Retired from private practice since 1998, CHARLES ALLEN spent the previous 26 years with the Indian Health Service.
He is now teaching anatomy and physiology at the local community college and spends his spare time doing oil painting, both landscapes and portraits.
His "welcome" mat is out for any classmates who find themselves in the neighborhood of Kennebunk, Maine.
Class of 1962
EUGENE R. SCHIFF is the former president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
He is a Master of the American College of Physicians.
He and his wife, Dana, reside in Miami.
HENRY A. SOLOMON, clinical associate professor of medicine at Cornell University, has become medical director in the cardiovascular and metabolic group at Pfizer.
He was formerly director of global business development at Hoffmann-La Roche.
Henry is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology.
Class of 1967
President-elect of the Hawaii State Psychiatric Society, LESLIE HARTLEY GISE works mainly as a community psychiatrist.
At the American Psychiatric Association meeting in 2004 she gave presentations on addiction in women and group psychotherapy for chronic mental illness.
RICHARD R. TAVERNETTI has been promoted to clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at UCSF.
Class of 1968
PETER R. SMITH, professor of clinical medicine at SUNY/Downstate Medical Center, is also chief of the pulmonary medicine division at Long Island College of Medicine.
He is currently president of the American Lung Association of the City of New York.
Class of 1969
The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics for 2004-2005 is CAROL A. BERKOWITZ, FAAP.
The Academy is the nation's largest pediatric organization, with a membership of 60,000 primary care pediatri-cians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists.
Carol is professor and executive vice chair in the Department of Pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif.
She is also editor of "Pediatrics: A Primary Care Approach."
In the past she served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Pediatrics and on a number of committees and subcommittees of the AAP. Her main interests lie in general
and emergency pediatrics, with a focus on child maltreatment.
Class of 1970
The Arthur and Virginia Keeney endowed chair of ophthalmology was awarded to GARY N. FOULKS, professor of ophthalmology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
In 2003 Gary delivered two named lectures at other universities.
MICHAEL F. PARRY has resumed practicing infectious disease medicine at Stamford Hospital following 10 years of serving as the vice president of medical affairs there.
Class of 1975
P&S Dean Gerald Fischbach appointed ERIC ROSE to the position of associate dean for translational research for the Columbia University Medical Center.
Eric is chairman of surgery and holds the title of Morris and Rose Milstein, Johnson & Johnson Professor of Surgery.
In his new position he will work with the dean, department chairs, and hospital leadership to translate laboratory findings into new therapies directly beneficial to patients.
In addition his charge is to develop financial and business plans and facilitate industrial collaborations.
He also will stimulate efforts throughout the medical center to increase intellectual property.
Class of 1976
JAMES DUNFORD, professor of clinical medicine and surgery at the University of California at San Diego, is also active in the school's emergency medicine department.
In 2004 he was inducted into the school's Academy of Clinician Scholars, the faculty honor society.
Jim also serves as medical director for the City of San Diego.
Class of 1981
SUSAN J. BEANE, a board-certified internist, was appointed senior vice president and chief medical officer of Affinity Health Plan, where she had acted as medical director since 2001.
Affinity Health Plan is an independent, not-for-profit managed care plan designed to meet the needs of underserved residents of the New York metropolitan area.
The plan was the first health plan licensed in New York state to serve government-sponsored populations.
Susan was the driving force behind the conceptualization, development and implementation of Healthy Streets, Affinity's innovative health education initiative.
She also served as principal investigator on the bariatric surgery project, funded by a New York State Department of Health Quality Improvement Grant.
JAMES TATERKA is a partner in a Philadelphia gastroenterology group and also serves as medical director of the group's local surgicenter.
Jim, his wife, Toni, and three sons reside in Lafayette Hill, Pa.
Class of 1982
With a master's degree in philosophy from Brown University, MARK MERCURIO is teaching medical ethics at Yale; his audience includes pediatrics residents and physician assistant students.
He is clinical professor of pediatrics at Yale, where he teaches neonatology and is an attending at the neonatal ICU.
SETH ROSENZWEIG has been appointed medical director of the gastrointestinal endoscopy laboratory at the Reading Hospital & Medical Center in Reading, Pa.
Class of 1985
JEFFREY R. AVNER, professor of clinical pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is also director of the pediatric emergency service and division chief of pediatric emergency medicine at the new Children's Hospital at Montefiore Hospital.
He is also co-director of medical student education in pediatrics at Einstein and has served on many committees at the American Academy of Pediatrics. His chief research interest is the management of fever in children.
Jeff and his wife, Rhonda, have four children, whose academic standing ranges from fourth grade to first year of college.
SCOTT A. SHIKORA, associate professor of surgery at Tufts University, is the surgical director of the obesity consult center at the New England Medical Center in Boston.
He is serving as president of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.
Class of 1987
KEVIN HO, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and medical codirector of the local dialysis unit, practices nephrology in the university's faculty group practice.
He is also engaged in translational research on diabetic nephropathy.
Class of 1988
DEBORAH LEVINE CABANISS is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at P&S, where she teaches medical students and residents.
Deborah is also a training and supervising analyst at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, where she teaches candidates and conducts research.
The results of her latest research on "Conducting Analysis after Sept. 11th: Implications for Psychoanalytic Technique" were published in 2004.
A medical epidemiologist at the CDC in Atlanta, KENNETH L. DOMINGUEZ has been studying HIV-infected children and adolescents; a recent study found that perinatally infected children are living longer.
He hopes to be able to document continued improvements.
In the spring of 2004, ALBERT RUENES went to Dakar, Senegal, as a volunteer, teaching the technique of radi-cal prostatectomy. Some of the Dakar residents plan to spend more time studying with Al in Pennsylvania.
Class of 1989
Residing in Gaithersburg, Md., MICHAEL K. GILSON is a professor at the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology.
His research efforts are directed to the theory and computer modeling of molecular interactions with a special emphasis on computer-aided drug discovery.
Class of 1991
MIGNON L.-C. LOH and her classmate and husband, MICHAEL VOSTREJS, are happily settled in San Francisco with their two small children.
Mike is an orthopedist at Kaiser Permanente, while Mignon is an assistant professor of pediatrics in the hematology/oncology division at UCSF.
They frequently get together with classmates in San Francisco.
Class of 1993
BENJAMIN SURATT, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Vermont and researcher at the Vermont Lung Center, and colleagues have demonstrated that adult human stem cell transplantation results in spontaneous regeneration of damaged lung tissue.
This finding may have a huge impact on the treatment of such devastating lung diseases as emphysema or cystic fibrosis.
His research is supported by grants from the NIH and the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence in the NIH's National Center for Research Resources.
Class of 1996
JEAN BIDIC received a master's degree in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002; his emphasis was on digital media and new genre.
He completed a plastic surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently at UCLA in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, doing a hand/microsurgery fellowship.
Class of 1998
BELLA M. SCHANZER is doing psychiatric research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in the areas of homelessness, mental illness, and mental health services.
Bella and her husband, Jeffrey A. Morgan, M.D., became the proud parents of a son, Jeremy Martin, in 2004.